In a previous blog post, Larissa addressed how pairing open-ended play with books helps to build literacy and language. My daughter has benefited greatly from aligning engaging books with related play activities to learn about the world around her.
With thousands of books to choose from, how do you find the right books for your kids?
- Look for books on the subject matter you want to play with. I have listed some of our personal recommendations below for various transportation play.
- Be mindful of your child’s preferences. How important are colorful visuals to them? Do they engage better with books that have rhyming structure? Or perhaps they enjoy interactive books that get the child moving? Read reviews to see if the book sounds like it will be a good fit for your child.
- You do not have to purchase a bunch of books to pull off open-ended play for your child. Take a look at the books you do have and see what you could pull together. As you think of your child’s interests and design a setup, look at the catalog of your local library to see if you could check out some books on that topic. You can also check out secondhand/thrift stores to find inexpensive books for your play.
- More doesn’t always mean better! When my daughter was younger, she loved when I paired two or three books with each invitation to play. At nearly four, she can get so focused on play that one book seems to be a better fit. I also try to incorporate that same book or two into our bedtime reading to really drive it home.
My daughter is passionate about transportation, so the recommendations below are for books that she enjoys alongside her waytoplay roads.
Book Ideas for City Play
- Cityblock by Christopher Franceschelli
- Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle
- Dan the Taxi Man by Eric Ode
- Little Taco Truck by Tanya Valentine
- Food Fest Fest! by Alexandra Penfold
- The Little Ice Cream Truck by Margery Cuyler
- The Little School Bus by Margery Cuyler
Book Ideas for Community Helpers
- Peek Inside How a Fire Truck Works by Lara Bryan
- Vroom Vroom Garbage Truck by Asia Citro
- Hooray, It’s Garbage Day! by Eric Ode
- The Little Fire Truck by Margery Cuyler
- Here Come the Helpers by Leslie Kimmelman
- Tow Truck Joe by June Sobel
- Sunny’s Tow Truck by Anne Marie Pace
- Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton
- Good Morning, Snowplow! by Deborah Bruss
- The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler
- Mucky Truck by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Book Ideas for Airport Play
- Peek Inside How a Plane Works by Lara Bryan
- Yellow Copter by Kersten Hamilton
- Five Trucks by Brian Flocka (book showcases the trucks you see at the airport)
- The Airport Book by Lisa Brown
Book Ideas for Road Construction
- Roadwork by Sally Sutton
- Construction Site, Road Crew Coming Through by Sherri Duskey Rinker
- The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
- Dig: Peek-a-Flap Board Book by Jaye Garnett
Book Ideas for General Transportation
- Rosa Plays Cars by Jessica Spanyol
- Go, Girls, Go by Frances Gilbert
- Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia
- Roger Priddy’s Counting Cars
- Look Inside Things That Go by Rob Lloyd Jones
- I Know Things That Go by Clever Publishing
Explore transportation books that fit your child’s interests and pair them with fun open-ended play using waytoplay roads. You’ll be amazed at what your child comes up with!